NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering To Honor Alums, Students, Faculty, Staff

NEWARK—The NJIT Newark College of Engineering (NCE) will hold its 14th annual Salute to Engineering Excellence on March 29, from 6-9 p.m. in the NJIT Campus Center Atrium. The event will celebrate the 93nd anniversary of NCE, NJIT’s flagship institution.

Honorees, who hail mostly from New Jersey, will include 13 students, eight faculty and staff members and four alumni with notable careers in technology and engineering. VALCOR Engineering Corporation, of Springfield, will receive the Outstanding Corporate Partnership Award.

NJIT alumnus (NCE, 1991) Leon Baptiste, of Landing, president and chief executive officer of LB Electric Co., of Cedar Grove and Newark, started LB Electric in 2000 at NJIT’s Enterprise Development Center. The company designs, installs and maintains electrical systems and solar PV arrays for companies, schools, hospitals and government agencies. Recent projects include installing a solar array on the NJIT Campus Center roof as well as a solar and hot water heater system on the roof of an NJIT residence hall. Two years ago, LB provided electrical and lighting work for the new Met Life Stadium.

Bhavesh Adani, of Edison, is co-founder and executive vice president of cyberThink Inc., an information technology services company located in Bridgewater, which he co-founded in 1996. The company, which employs more than 300 people in the U.S. and India, provides IT services to leading companies in the pharmaceutical, financial services and computer industries. After graduating in 1988 from NCE, Adani worked as a database administrator and project manager for Transax Systems, helping to build the industry’s first Windows-based Tariff & Rate Retrieval System. At Transax, he also met his future founding partners in cyberThink, Inc.

Joseph Branco, of Holmdel, has two degrees from NJIT: a bachelor’s in civil engineering (1974) and a professional degree in architecture (1977). He later used his many talents to co-found EIC Associates, Springfield, a heavy construction and marine work company, in April 1998. His responsibilities include the supervision of project estimating and the general administration of the firm, with special emphasis on finance, bonding and insurance. Branco has lectured on micro tunneling, soil modification and dredge processing.. During his 36-year career, he has designed and built many high-profile projects, including a chemical sewer system for Merck & Co., Rahway.

Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of EIC Associates Inc., Andre Ameer, of Colts Neck, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NCE in 1978. Today he is responsible for all of the company’s field construction operations. In his 32-year long career, he has worked on notable projects. For the New Jersey Department of Transportation in Paterson, he supervised construction of the Route 80 and Route 19 interchange; that work included a historical restoration of access to downtown Paterson. Working for the City of New York DEP at JFK International Airport, he supervised a contract for a cover drainage culvert, and worked on the mitigation of tidal wetlands.

VALCOR Engineering was founded in 1951 by the late NCE mechanical engineering graduate Morton A. Krietchman, Class of 1944. Today, VALCOR Engineering supplies fluid control products to the aerospace, nuclear, light industrial and scientific industries. With more than 50,000 product models delivered worldwide, VALCOR’s philosophy has not changed. The company’s unparalleled reputation for excellence continues to be based on product innovation, quality and its unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction. Since 1998, VALCOR has provided funds for generous annual scholarships to NJIT mechanical engineering majors.

Students from New Jersey to be honored are: Mary Youssef, Fair Lawn; Olakemi Akinlabi, Newark; Luz Angela Zidziunas, West Orange; Julia Gayner, Salem; Tia Montalto, Old Bridge; Michael Anderson, Hammonton; Lisha Malkani, Lyndhurst. Also, Priya Radhi Santhanam, Merrick, NY. The team receiving the Saul K. Fenster Innovation in Design Award are: Maria Conneran, Rahway; Nicole Antonicello, Kenilworth; Brodi Halbfoster, Plainfield; Gabriel Geraldo, Kearny. The leadership of the NJIT Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will be honored: Jonathan Leonardi, Randolph; Seth Bortey, West Orange; Prabhat Vijayan, Union; Emmanuel Marseille-Doris, Bloomfield; Gregory Wysoczanski, Port Reading.

Faculty and staff honored will be: Distinguished Professor Piero Armenante, Millington; Professor Walter Konon, Waccabuc, NY; Professor Mengchu Zhou, Basking Ridge; Associate Professor Janice Daniel, Nutley; Heidi Young, Manalapan; Rosalyn Manning, Franklin Park; Victor Passaro, East Orange; Arminta Skipper, West Orange.

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